Hindu Nationalists Admire Trump

Trump’s brash brand of America-first politics is resonating with a Hindu nationalist movement in India, The New York Times reports. “There’s a lot of parallels there,” Shalabh Kumar, the founding chairman of the Republican Hindu Coalition, told the Times.

“Mr. Trump is all about development, development, development; prosperity, prosperity, prosperity; tremendous job growth. And at the same time, he recognizes the need to control the borders.”


Kumar, who runs an electronics manufacturing company in Illinois and grew up along the Pakistani border, has helped organize a speech by the Republican nominee in Edison, N.J., Saturday, the Times reported.

According to the Times, Trump campaign chief executive Stephen Bannon is an admirer of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist, calling him “the Reagan of India” — and many of Trump’s biggest Hindu supporters are also some of Modi’s most ardent backers.
“One of the things that Modi very subtly articulated, but was very clear about, was something which nobody wanted to say,” Subramanian Swamy, an Indian politician and Hindu nationalist, told the Times.

“And that is that Hindus, despite being 80 percent of the population, feel like they got a raw deal.”

When nationalist-minded Hindus hear Trump, “they think that this guy talks the same language,” he added.


Manu Bhagavan, who teaches South Asian history at Hunter College, told the Times the Hindu nationalist movement believes Indian life has been tainted.

“They locate this in a grand Hindu past,” he told the Times. “If you go before Muslims entered India, before all these foreigners came in and messed things up, Hindus could do this, Hindus could do that.”



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